AEG strikes deal with coalition suing over proposed NFL stadium
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.
A coalition of anti-poverty groups has reached a settlement with Anschutz Entertainment Group, removing one of the biggest legal hurdles facing the developer’s proposed NFL football stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
The deal includes the creation of a $15-million trust fund for low-income housing in the area and nearly $2 million in traffic- and air-pollution-control measures, according to Becky Dennison, co-director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, a downtown renters' rights group that is part of the coalition that challenged the stadium deal.
In August, the Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition filed suit seeking to invalidate a state law written for AEG that limits legal challenges against the stadium to a 175-day period. The lawsuit called on AEG to provide $60 million for affordable housing.
Dennison said the settlement announced Thursday, which includes the creation of a multilingual complaint hotline during construction of the stadium and on event days, “improves the project greatly.”
As part of the deal, her group also agreed not to file a lawsuit challenging the project on environmental grounds, she said.
The settlement comes on top of roughly $50 million in concessions AEG says it had already agreed to pay, including $10.3 million for a new platform at a Metro Blue Line Station and $8 million in upgrades to a plaza outside the Convention Center.
Barbara Schultz of the Legal Aid Foundation, which was also a part of the lawsuit, said the new deal “provides protections to the surrounding communities that weren’t in any of the other agreements between the city and AEG.”
In a statement, AEG chief Tim Leiweke said the settlement talks “began as a legal negotiation but soon evolved into a cooperative dialogue about how we could work together to achieve the common goal of serving the needs of all segments of the community.”
In September, the Los Angeles City Council signed off on a set of agreements for the 72,000-seat stadium, concluding that the project's economic benefits will outweigh any increases in traffic, air pollution, noise and light glare.
For the record, 4:30 p.m., Nov. 1: A previous version of this post said that In August, a lawsuit filed by Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition called on AEG to provide $60 million for affordable housing. In fact, no such demand was made.
-- Kate Linthicum and Christine Mai-Duc at Los Angeles City Hall
Photo: An illustration of how the Farmers Field stadium would look next to the L.A. Convention Center and the L.A. Live entertainment complex. Credit: Anschutz Entertainment Group